Guaranteed Rate Field

Guaranteed Rate Field
Sox Park; The Cell; New Comiskey

The ballpark in 2010
Former names New Comiskey Park (1991–2003)
U.S. Cellular Field (2003–2016)
Address 333 West 35th Street
Location Chicago, Illinois
Coordinates 41°49′48″N 87°38′2″W / 41.83000°N 87.63389°W / 41.83000; -87.63389Coordinates: 41°49′48″N 87°38′2″W / 41.83000°N 87.63389°W / 41.83000; -87.63389
Public transit

at Sox-35th

at Bronzeville-IIT

at 35th Street-Lou Jones

Parking 8 main parking lots
Owner Illinois Sports Facilities Authority[1]
Operator Illinois Sports Facilities Authority[1]
Capacity 40,615 (2004–present)
47,098 (2002–03)
47,522 (2001)
44,321 (1991–2000)[2]
Record attendance 47,609 (July 15, 2003; 74th All-Star Game)
White Sox game: 46,246 (October 5, 1993; ALCS Game 1)
Post-renovations: 41,432 (October 23, 2005; World Series Game 2)
Field size (2001–present)
Left field – 330 feet (101 m)
Left-center – 375 feet (114 m) (not posted)
Center field – 400 feet (122 m)
Right-center – 375 feet (114 m) (not posted)
Right field – 335 feet (102 m)
Backstop – 60 feet (18 m)
Outfield wall height – 8 feet (2 m)
Surface Bluegrass
Scoreboard Center field full-color, high-resolution video board 28 feet (8.5 m) × 53 feet (16 m) (2003–2015)
Right field LED display out-of-town scoreboard 23 feet (7.0 m) × 68 feet (21 m) (2009–2015)
Left field matrix board (2003–2015)
Fan Deck ticker board (2003–present)
2 small scoreboards along the facade down the right field and left field lines below the 500 level
Broke ground May 7, 1989
Built 1989–1990
Opened April 18, 1991
Renovated 2001–2007, 2015–2016
Construction cost US$167 million
($291 million in 2016 dollars[3])

$118 million (2001–2007 renovations)
($135 million in 2016 dollars[3])
Architect Populous (then HOK Sport)
HKS, Inc. (2001–2007 renovations)
Project manager International Facilities Group, LLC[4]
Structural engineer Thornton Tomasetti
Services engineer Flack + Kurtz[5]
General contractor Gust K. Newberg Construction Company[6]
Chicago White Sox (MLB) (1991–present)

Guaranteed Rate Field is a baseball park located in Chicago, Illinois. It serves as the home ballpark for the Chicago White Sox, a Major League Baseball club competing in the American League (AL) Central division. The park is owned by the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, but operated by the White Sox. The park opened for the 1991 season, after the White Sox had spent 81 years at the original Comiskey Park. It also opened with the name Comiskey Park but was renamed U.S. Cellular Field in 2003 after U.S. Cellular bought the naming rights at $68 million over 20 years.[7] The ballpark was renamed again to Guaranteed Rate Field on October 31, 2016, as Guaranteed Rate, a private residential mortgage company located in Chicago, purchased the naming rights to the ballpark.[8][9] On August 24, 2016, owner Jerry Reinsdorf announced a name change for the stadium, removing the U.S. Cellular Field name and replacing it with Guaranteed Rate Field beginning on November 1, 2016, and valid for thirteen years. The name change began on October 31, 2016.

The stadium is situated just to the west of the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago's Armour Square neighborhood, adjacent to the more famous neighborhood of Bridgeport. It was built directly across 35th Street from old Comiskey Park, which was demolished to make room for a parking lot that serves the venue. Old Comiskey's home plate location is represented by a marble plaque on the sidewalk next to Guaranteed Rate Field and the foul lines are painted in the parking lot. Also, the spectator ramp across 35th Street is designed in such a way (partly curved, partly straight but angling east-northeast) that it echoes the contour of the old first-base grandstand.

The park was completed at a cost of US$167 million. The current public address announcer is Gene Honda, who also serves as the PA announcer for the Chicago Blackhawks.


The stadium was the first new major sporting facility built in Chicago since Chicago Stadium in 1929. It was also the last one built before the wave of new "retro-classic" ballparks in the 1990s and 2000s. However, a few design features from the old park were retained. The front facade of the park features arched windows. Most notable is the "exploding scoreboard" which pays homage to the original installed by Bill Veeck at the old park in 1960. The original field dimensions and seating configuration were very similar to those of Royals Stadium (now Kauffman Stadium) in Kansas City—which had been the last baseball-only park built in the majors, in 1973.

View from the upper deck during construction, September 1990

As originally built, the park was criticized by many fans because of the height of the upper deck. The original architect, HOK Sport (now Populous), wanted to eliminate the overhang problems present in many stadiums built since the 1970s. With this in mind, the upper deck was set back over the lower deck, and the stands rose fairly gradually. While it gave nearly every seat in the upper level an unobstructed view of the field, it also created one of the highest upper decks in baseball. The first row of seats in the upper deck at the new stadium is as far from the field as the highest row of seats in the upper deck at the old stadium. Fans sitting in this area didn't get much chance for relief, as it is one of the few parks in Major League Baseball that do not allow fans sitting in the upper deck to venture anywhere else in the park, e.g. lower deck concourse.

In response to fan complaints, the stadium has undergone numerous renovations since the 2001 season in order to retrofit the facility to current architectural trends. These changes have included building a multi-tiered concourse beyond center field, adjusting the fences to make the outfield less symmetrical and, most significantly, the removal of 6,600 seats at the top of the upper deck.

The uppermost story of the park now has a white and black screen behind the top row of seats and is topped by a flat canopy roof supported by black steel truss supports that obstruct the view of a few seats. The original blue seats were also replaced by forest green seats. The new green and black color scheme, upper level screen set back from the outer wall and canopy roof resemble features of the old Comiskey Park as well as other classic baseball stadiums. The White Sox have also added murals to the interior concourses, a prominent feature of the old stadium.

The stadium houses 103 luxury suites located on two levels, as well as 1,822 "club seats" on 300-level mezzanine between the lower deck and upper deck. The club seats receive in-seat wait-staff and benefit from an enclosed concourse with multiple television viewing areas and bar-style concessions. The stadium has 400 wheelchair-accessible seats, 38 public restrooms, 12 escalators and 15 elevators. The new suites were one example of why the old Comiskey Park was demolished, as suites generate more revenue.


Site of (Old) Comiskey Park as it looked in 2007

Renovations and additions

1996–99 seasons

2001–07 seasons

In 2001, extensive renovations were started by HKS Sports & Entertainment Group to make the park more fan-friendly:

Phase I (2001 season)

Phase II (2002 season)

The then Comiskey Park in 2002 with the new batter's eye

Phase III (2003 season)

Guaranteed Rate Field (then U.S. Cellular Field) in 2004 with the new roof and lighting

Phase IV (2004 season)

The Translucent wall in the upper deck was added in 2004 to block the elements

Phase V (2005 season)

Guaranteed Rate Field (then U.S. Cellular Field) in 2005 with the new Fundamentals Deck in left field

Phase VI (2006 season)

Phase VII (2007 season)

Guaranteed Rate Field (then U.S. Cellular Field) at night in 2007

Extensive renovations (2008–12 seasons)

Renovations added not part of the original plan.

2008 season

2009 season

Gate 5 entrance, restaurant & bar

2010–16 seasons





Retired numbers

There are 11 retired numbers on the facade of the Home Plate Club.

White Sox retired numbers[17]
No. Player Position White Sox years Date retired Notes
2 Nellie Fox 2B 1950–63 1976 Hall of Fame (1997)
3 Harold Baines RF, DH 1980–89, 96–97, 00–01, (coach, 04–present) 1989-08-20 Baines' number was retired after he was traded to the Texas Rangers midway through 1989. The number was unretired for him in 1996 and 2000 when he returned as a player, and in 2004 as an assistant hitting coach.
4 Luke Appling SS 1930–50 1975 Hall of Fame (1964)
9 Minnie Miñoso LF 1951–57, 60–61, 76, 80 1983 "Mr. White Sox"
11 Luis Aparicio SS 1956–62, 68–70 1984-08-14 Hall of Fame (1984)
14 Paul Konerko 1B 1999–2014 2015-05-23 2005 World Series Champion and ALCS MVP
16 Ted Lyons P 1923–46, (manager, 46–48) 1987 Hall of Fame (1955)
19 Billy Pierce P 1949–61 1987
35 Frank Thomas 1B, DH 1990–2005 2010-08-29 Hall of Fame (2014)
72 Carlton Fisk C 1981–93 1997-09-14 Hall of Fame (2000)
42 Jackie Robinson 2B Brooklyn Dodgers, 1947–1956, Retired by Major League Baseball 1997-04-15 Hall of Fame (1962)
The White Sox taking on the Minnesota Twins on Opening Day 2014

Ballpark firsts

The view from the 500 level

First game

The view from the White Sox radio booth


The gate 5 entrance at Guaranteed Rate Field (then U.S. Cellular Field) in 2007 before renovations took place for the 2009 season


Other firsts

Transportation to the stadium

The upper deck concourse

Notable games/events



The National Anthem before Game 1 of the 2005 World Series
The 2008 AL Central tiebreaker game (better known as the "blackout game") as the Sox shutout the Twins 1–0
Teammates celebrate Buehrle's perfect game on July 23, 2009


White Sox record at home

Guaranteed Rate Field before a game

Note: 1994 season incomplete due to Players Strike
There were three ties, the first in the 1995 season against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. The second tie happened in the 1998 season against the Blue Jays at then Comiskey Park. The third tie took place in the 1999 season against the Twins at Comiskey Park.

In film and other media

Guaranteed Rate Field has appeared in films such as Rookie of the Year (1993), Major League II (1994), Little Big League (1994), My Best Friend's Wedding (1997), and The Ladies Man (2000). In Rookie of the Year the stadium played the role of Dodger Stadium and in Little Big League the stadium played the role of all opposing ballparks except for Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park. Commercials for the PGA Tour, Nike, Reebok and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America have been filmed at the park.


See also


  1. 1 2 Hopkins, Jared S. (May 22, 2016). "Tax Dollars Still Paying off Renovations on White Sox Stadium". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  2. "Attendance Records" (PDF). 2016 Chicago White Sox Media Guide. Major League Baseball Advanced Media, L.P. February 26, 2016. Retrieved November 1, 2016. U.S. Cellular Field capacity was 44,321 from 1991-2000, 47,522 in 2001, 47,098 in 2002-03 and 40,615 since 2004.
  3. 1 2 Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved October 21, 2016.
  4. International Facilities Group - US Cellular Field
  5. "Opus North Promotes Jacobson". Chicago Tribune. September 24, 1989. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
  6. U.S. Cellular Field -
  7. Padilla, Doug (April 26, 2013). "The Cell not in line for name change". ESPN. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  8. Merkin, Scott (August 24, 2016). "U.S. Cellular to become Guaranteed Rate Field". Chicago White Sox. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  9. Ecker, Danny (August 24, 2016). "White Sox home gets a new name: Guaranteed Rate Field". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  10. "Chicago White Sox and Gold Coast Tickets Reach Multi-Year Sponsorship Agreement". Chicago White Sox. March 30, 2011.
  11. "TBD's outdoor beer garden added to Gate 5 entrance". Major League Baseball. July 22, 2010.
  12. Van Dyck, Dave (August 29, 2010). "Having His No. 35 Retired Emotionally Drains Thomas". Chicago Tribune.
  13. "Bacardi At The Park added to Gate 5". Chicago White Sox. March 29, 2011.
  14. "White Sox Open New Bar And Restaurant". CBS Chicago. March 29, 2011.
  15. "Chicago Sports Depot". Chicago White Sox.
  16. "White Sox to install 3 new video boards for 2016 season". Chicago Tribune. October 2, 2015.
  17. "Retired Uniform Numbers in the American League". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
  18. "Guaranteed Rate Field Ballpark Guide: Upper Concourse Policy".
  19. Sports Illustrated
  20. "Cubs' Barrett slugs Pierzynski, leads to melee". ESPN. May 20, 2006. Retrieved October 23, 2008.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Guaranteed Rate Field.
Events and tenants
Preceded by
Comiskey Park
Home of the
Chicago White Sox

1991 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Miller Park
Host of the
MLB All-Star Game

Succeeded by
Minute Maid Park
Preceded by
Turner Field
Host of the
Civil Rights Game

Succeeded by
Minute Maid Park
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